Space transport company SpaceX, founded by the former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk, on Sunday had launched the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket into space to deliver the Canadian Space Agency satellite, CASSIOPE into the Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
SpaceX already has flown three Dragon capsules to the station and made two other successful test flights with its older version Falcons. But this time the rocket, which lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base seems to have launched with a solution to the pain-point of many businesses and organisations across the globe, i.e. exchange of large data files over the Internet.
CASSIOPE is a small hybrid multi-function satellite “designed to serve both a scientific and a demonstration of technology purpose” which, as part of its payload includes ‘Cascade’ – a super-fast spaceborne file-transfer system.
Cascade, built by MDA, a Canadian company, claims to offer a “100% global broadband coverage for sending and retrieving very large volumes of data on a routine daily basis” and that too with a speed of upto 2.1 Gbps, which is not physically possible with the present technology resources. However, as the satellite is bound to revolve around the low-Earth-orbit, it will take about 90 minutes to complete one full circle around the globe. This means that customers could send files to the satellite when it’s passing overhead which it would store until it reaches the destination parallel to the recipient’s destination in the space.
Talking of high speed internet connectivity, Google is also trying to deploy its high speed internet connection Google Fiber, but given its reach – which is limited to only a few US cities for now – it sure doesn’t seem to be solving a global problem. As for example if a Google Fiber user needs to exchange files with someone sitting in Ghana with a comparatively low speed internet connection – what is the point ?
Cascade, with its high speed downloading and uploading compatibility – without any geographic limitation like Google Fiber might come as a revolution to the digital world. But how the company plans to commercialize this service, is the deciding factor – as nothing has been provided by the company at this stage except an announcement which says that the the company looks forward to help sectors like oil companies, armies, and disaster-relief operations with this. But given its global reach, the technology will be very helpful to send and receive large amount of data packages from regions like the remote Arctic where high speed ground-connectivity is just a mere dream.
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